When dogs attack kids

Filed under: Tweens, In The News, Playground Bureau

In the drive through line-up this morning, I heard a story that disturbed me so much that halfway through, I flipped the sound off and glanced worriedly at my son in the rearview mirror. He was thoughtfully eating his cinnamon raisin bagel and looking out the window and I thought: sometimes I really don't want to let him out into the world.

But I turned the radio back on, because I needed to hear the rest, to hear the ending.

An 11-year-old British Columbia boy is making headlines, for horrific reasons. The boy was playing basketball outside with his friends at his local elementary school when he was attacked by a pit bull, who at first licked him, and then viciously assaulted his face. The attack was so violent , the young boy required 100 stitches. The situation would likely have been even more grave had a witnessing 20-year-old neighbor not stepped in with a baseball bat and some serious moxie. A second pit bull at the site circled while the attack was in progress.

This story gives me shivers. Sean Bajwa was playing basketball at 4:30 in the evening in a public space, a child's space. The dogs were not on leashes, and apparently unsupervised. The man who intervened will likely have nightmares for a long time to come, and Sean Bajwa will likely be scarred forever, both physically and mentally.

Sean's father says that the owners of the pit bulls should be punished. I agree, and moreover, I think the punishment should be hefty. I've heard about too many of these attacks on kids -- if there were a serious penalty for dog attacks -- say jail time or a hefty fine -- perhaps more dog owners would be apt to keep their dogs in leashed, supervised areas.

I know there are a lot of pit bull owners who say that the breed is safe and wonderful and that the problem with vicious animals is due to owner neglect. Perhaps this is true, maybe it's not -- but the fact remains that we hear a lot more about pit bulls attacking than Schnoodles and Labs. We need licenses to drive a car. Maybe it's time we think of granting - and not granting -- licenses for dog owners.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.